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New01:26

New

An advertisement promoting the new number

The New Emergency Services is a popular IT Crowd joke among fans of the series and appeared in the episode Calamity Jen. The joke is that while the emergency services have been updated mostly for the better, they've also changed their phone number from the easily-remembered UK 999 to the slightly less easy-to-remember 0118, 999, 881, 999, 119, 7253.

Transcript Edit

Announcer: Has this ever happened to you?

(Shows an old lady falling down from the top of the the stair, getting up and the falling down another flight of stairs to the ground floor.)

Announcer: From today, dialing 999 won’t get you the emergency services. And that’s not the only thing that’s changing. Nicer ambulances, faster response times and better-looking drivers mean they’re not just “the” emergency services - they’re “your” emergency services. So, remember the new number:

Announcer: [singing number]: 0118, 999, 881, 999, 119, 725…3!

Announcer: That’s…

Announcer: [singing number]: 0118, 999, 881, 999, 119, 725…3!

Old Woman: Hello, I’ve had a bit of a tumble…

(Shows that Moss sat there watching the advert)

Moss: Well, that’s easy to remember! [singing number] 0118, 999, 881, 999, 119, 725…3! 

Context Edit

This joke may be based on BT's 2003 abandonment of the 192 number for local directory inquiries and their subsequent changeover to the 118 service in the UK. As part of a commercialization effort, directory inquiry services were opened up to third parties, with organizations being able to apply for a "118 xxx" number and BT adopting the number 118 500. Aggressive marketing of competing services (such as "118 118") led consumers to complain that it was not being made clear enough which services were "official" and which were commercial services provided by third parties.

Other Appearances Edit

In the Season 3 episode From Hell, Douglas asks Moss to call 999 for him, but Moss informs him that there is a new number and begins to sing it.

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